Ultimately, every business owner will want to know the resale value of their business. Even if they intend to pass it on to the next generation, it is important to be able to defend your valuation. Several criteria are needed to come to a reasonable valuation.
If there is real estate involved, and it is assumed that a new owner would continue the use of the property for the same or similar business, a commercial appraisal may be needed. However, lenders have some leeway on whether a fee appraisal is necessary, especially if the real estate value is less than $500,000.
A second consideration is whether the business will be sold as a "going concern" or if a new owner will be starting something new or a re-start of what was once there. A "going concern" will be valued based on historical profitability and how bankable those figures turn out to be. Most business acquisitions will involve financing, so it is important to avoid being too aggressive in write-offs in the immediate year's tax returns, otherwise a prospective buyer will devalue the business to comply with lender requirements. Saving some in taxes could result in even greater losses as it relates to the lowering of net income and thereby lowering the value of your business.
When a prospective buyer learns about your business, they will want to see two things right away. First, they will look at your website as it gives a first impression of how current your business is. Second, they will want to see your financials to determine the viability of the business.
If you're thinking a sale of your business is in the near future, contact Waking Girl Company. They have the resources to update a website and to give guidance on an independent evaluation.
When planning a succession or sale, business owners should consider turning the reigns over to either the “heir apparent” or an interim CEO/President while still on-site.
This will give the owner a chance to determine whether they are comfortable with a transition of authority, especially on day to day matters. Giving someone else authority to make decisions on hiring, marketing and vision-casting before actually going on that long awaited world cruise can be a good method to check out the mentality and initiative of a would-be successor before giving more comprehensive authority.
Often owners just want a break from the minutia of running the business which allows them to spend more energy on long range planning. Obviously, the physical and mental health of the owner should be considered as well. Asking, “Is the time right to retire, sell or turn over the day to day operations?” is a major decision especially for someone that has poured their heart and soul into the founding of a business. The emotional attachment can often blur the right decision.
One should do some soul-searching about whether the goals they had at the beginning have been achieved or whether it is more likely to be achieved with someone else at the helm.
Want to see if your business is ready to sell, or if you just need a vacation? Call us today for a complimentary business consultation.
Written by Larry, Business to Business Consultant